Breakfast holds the distinction of being the most important meal of the day. While typical Nepali people opt for Dal Bhat (Rice & Lentil with Vegetables and Meat) as their morning meal, Nepalis with an American influence prefer oats, cereals, toast, eggs, and bacon, among other items, for a healthier and more balanced breakfast. When I suggested to my mother that we switch from the usual Dal Bhat to a so-called healthy and balanced breakfast, she responded, “I have been having Dal Bhat for almost 80 years, and I haven’t needed simple medicine for my health. Now you guys are telling me what to eat and what not to eat? Idiot.” So, I am the typical Nepali.
Every Saturday, the temptation of savoring Gwaramari, Jerry & Swari, a typical Newari cuisine with a cup of tea after my morning walk becomes irresistible. The combination of traditional flavors and the comforting routine makes it the perfect start to the weekend.
Gwaramari is a traditional breakfast food from the Newari culture, famous in the Kathmandu valley in Nepal. The name ‘Gwaramari’ comes from the words ‘Gwara,’ which means round, and ‘mari,’ which means bread that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Gwaramari is typically available only in the early morning from special Newari sweets shops.
Jerry & Swari, a delightful Newari dish found in local sweet shops, consists of deep-fried, sugar-coated flour batter known as Jerry. Often enjoyed alone, it pairs well with Swari, a soft flatbread that balances out the sweetness. Originating from the native ethnic group in Kathmandu, the Newar, it’s a popular treat in Nepal. The combination of Jerry and Swari in Newari cuisine, like the iconic cartoon duo Tom and Jerry, is a delightful treat enjoyed individually, but the true delight unfolds when they are savored together.